How To Dress Like A Boss When You Go Into The Office

Dress Like A Boss!

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You should dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” If you have your sights set on a specific goal or position, dressing the part is more important than you think! Studies show that people make a decision about you, how smart , successful and trustworthy you are within seconds of meeting you. So make sure that the first impression is a good one!

Although some of us are still working from home, many of us are planning to go back into the office soon. I’ve worked from home for quite a few years but I used to work in an office so I know the “rules” that should be followed. In this post I’m even sharing the smaller details like hemline and sleeve lengths.

If you’re not headed back to the office yet, then you should check out this post with tips on how to look good on Zoom calls.

hemline length of pants featuring white pleated pants

Tip #1) Hemline Of Pants

First, let’s talk about hemline. To elongate your frame and look as polished and professional as possible, make sure your pants are between 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch off the ground, almost dusting the floor. Only a tiny bit of your shoe should be peeping out. If a certain pair of shoes don’t work within that hemline guideline, try another pair of shoes. For example, some pants may only work with a small heel, while others look better with flats. Play around and find the shoes that are the right height for your pants. If you are set on a specific pair of shoes, you can always tailor your hemline accordingly, just be sure to take that pair of shoes with you when you go. BTW, these pants are very summery and not as professional as traditional black trousers. I picked these to best demonstrate the coveted hemline length.

Note: Cropped and tapered trousers are very “in” right now. But if you want to look your most professional, go for more traditional straight or wide leg trousers.


Wardrobe Basics, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of sharing wardrobe basics from Ann Taylor wearing a black pencil skirt with sailir buttons, a white ruffle neck blouse, classic black blazer, black tights, and black pumps all from Ann Taylor in Telluride, Colorado

Tip #2) Skirt Hemline

Skirt hemlines can be tricky. A lot of skirts and dresses are SUPER short. There are some midi options out there. But it’s still very challenging. Your skirt and dress hemline should be in the “knee zone”. Which is a term I made up. Basically, think of a zone about two inches above and two inches below your knees. Anything that falls within that zone is tasteful and professional. When I worked at WCBS, I had to talk to a couple of interns about their short skirts. Not only was that a very awkward conversation, but those young women clearly did NOT make the best impression with our management team.

Balmain Blazer on fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style

Tip #3) Try a Jacket

Nothing says “I’m the boss” quite like a tailored jacket. I suggest whipping out a blazer when you have a big meeting or presentation at the office to add that extra polish. Even though boyfriend blazers and cropped jackets are very trendy, I suggest sticking with a classic hemline length for maximum versatility and polish. Find a jacket that falls to your hip bone (where your leg joint meets your hip)…or somewhere in that zone. You can do a boyfriend or cropped jacket, just be careful about the proportion of your pants and jacket and how they look together. When in doubt, try on your outfit and take a picture in the mirror. You should also double check your sleeve length and make sure your sleeves hit between the wrist and the thumb joint. Even though my blazer above is double breasted, I recommend a one-button blazer as the most classic option.

Find more tips for…
Looking long and lean here,
Styling a boyfriend blazer here,
And everything you need to know about blazers here.

Wardrobe Basics, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of wearing black pocket sculpting jeans, a white ruffle neck blouse, black pumps, bar link necklace, and cutout hoops earrings all from Ann Taylor in Telluride, Colorado

Tip #4) Pointed Toe Pumps

Pointed-toe pumps are such a classic and sophisticated option. To add maximum length, pair them with straight or wide-leg pants in the same color. If you can’t wear heels, go with a pair of pointed toe flats that are the same color as your pants. It’s such a professional look!

Business Casual Outfit ideas, cropped pants to work, pinstripe cropped pants with black blazer and white choker blouse with black jimmy choo pumps in Moab, Utah on fashion blogger, Erin Busbee, Busbee Style

Tip #5) Pinstripes for the Promotion!

Pinstripes are a classic menswear print that women have adopted. And I for one am a BIG fan! The print is classic, modern, and POWERFUL. But it’s also very slimming because of the vertical stripes. Win, win!

Pink Office Outfit, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of wearing a pink power suit from White House Black Market, including a pink belted blazer, pink soft stretch pants, white puff sleeve sweater dress, pink pumps, pink earrings, and aviator sunglasses in Telluride, Colorado

Tip #6) Monochromatic is Flattering

Whether it’s all black, all navy, or a fun color like the pale pink suit I’m wearing above (only attempt color if it feels right for your work environment), a monochromatic suit is super sleek, polished and flattering! It will definitely make you look taller and slimmer. If you’re not sure what to wear for an interview, meeting with the boss, presentation, or whatever…always go with a monochromatic power suit!

matching sets, how to wear matching sets, erin busbee, melissa meyers, who what wear, alice + olivia blazer, alice + olivia shorts, all white outfit, matching sets outfits, malibu california

Tip#7) DO Add Jewelry

Adding a piece of jewelry or an accessory that’s minimal but impactful can really bring an office outfit together. It could be a simple necklace, a pair of drop or hoop earrings, etc. It should be something that feels comfortable but is big enough to be impactful (without making a statement). That typically means small to medium sized earrings and daintier necklaces like the one I’m wearing above.

beauty tips to look younger, beauty over 40, how to look younger, beauty tips and tricks

Tip #8) Wear Makeup

This is one of those tips that you already know but it is still worth repeating. You should wear makeup! You’re a powerful, smart, accomplished woman… embrace your femininity! I don’t mean that you have to cake on the makeup. Just wear some makeup that enhances your beauty and still looks very natural.

For a HUGE list of my best beauty and makeup tips, check out this post! Plus, our beauty writer, Francine shares tons of great content here.

Tip #9) Polished Hair

Your hair should be clean, polished, sleek, neat, not too frizzy, etc. You should also wear a style that’s classic, sophisticated and makes you feel most confident and comfortable. Whether that’s wearing it pulled back, down, or in a bun. I’ve done several videos on how I keep my hair healthy, thick and youthful here, here, and here.

shorts suit in red by Alice + Olivia on fashion over 40 blogger Erin Busbee in Malibu California

Tip #10) Have Confidence!

I’ve talked about this many times. But having confidence, especially in the office, as a woman, is SO important. Whatever you need to do to get yourself in that confident zone, say it, do it, be it, feel it. You got this!

If you’re interested in watching my video on dressing for success, you can find that here.

What questions do you have about dressing for success? Please share in the comments. For more style tips, get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, along with some next-level freebies, when you sign up for my newsletter here. Thanks for stopping by!

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